Veterinarians Without Borders launches northern awards program


Over $35,000 in scholarships and bursaries is available this year for northern students through the Veterinarians Without Borders’ new Access to Care Awards program.

Awards include one $10,000 scholarship for a student veterinary school and five $5,000 bursaries for student in animal and one health-related diplomas or certificates programs. 

Veterinarians Without Boarders (VWB) also plans to offer 10 online pet first aid courses in remote communities where they hold pop-up clinics, as well as an online career fair for high school students to promote jobs in animal health. The career fair will include speakers ranging from veterinarians to biologists to dog trainers, showing student the range of options available to them if they want a career working with animals.

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VWB is accepting applications for the scholarships and bursaries, as well as for the online course and career fair, from students living in the territories until January 15, 2023, with priority given to Indigenous applicants.

“As part of our northern animal health Iinitiative, which aims to create sustainable and community driven access to animal care in remote northern communities, these awards will increase local animal health knowledge and capacity,” said Marieke van der Velden, VWB’s Northern Canada program manager, in a news release.

“The Access to Care program will be a huge benefit to a remote community like Wrigley,” said Jocelyn Skeard, who acts as a community liaison for VWB in Pehdzeh Ki First Nation, where VWB recently completed a fourth remote veterinary clinic.

“With the closest veterinary care being in Yellowknife, almost 850 km away, this program can provide members of our community with pet first aid and other valuable pet health and care knowledge to provide for animals in need. With the ability to access the program, we are able to build our community capacity, provide members with adequate pet first aid knowledge, and educate the community on the importance of animal health,” Skeard was quoted as saying.
 
“During our northern clinics, we often meet young people who have never interacted with a veterinarian before and are quite curious about their work,” van der Velden continued. “We know how important it is that youth and teachers have access to people who are already working in animal health fields, and can provide some guidance in pursuing similar careers.”

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